As a painter, Patrick Donley became known earlier in his career for distinctive acrylic paintings; compositions of spherical objects applied with an insistent mark-making technique. Then, for several years he worked with found objects, first in 3-D wall-hanging constructions of freewheeling spatial complexity, and then in The Memento Series, which incorporated old photographs into intimate collages that evoked communal memories of the past.
More recently, Donley has embarked on, “…a path of rediscovery,” returning to the sphere, and if, at first glance, the paintings look the same, and most easily connote astronomical perspectives on heavenly bodies, there is indeed the same concern for relationships in space, but have the years of focus on 3-D informed the artist’s mark making, so that we feel a greater plasticity in the modeling of form - a greater freedom now in the application of medium? Whatever we imagine, Donley finds a curious tension in the work: There is something surreal happening that is at once perplexing while at the same time pleasing.”
"I draw with a brush. I draw with graphite. I draw with charcoal. I stain, and I glaze. Collage is worked into the surface, and I draw over that. I render worlds, and I proffer particles. Accident belies intention. Color justifies the means. I enjoy what I do, and I offer it up to you."
A long-time member, now co-owner of Zephyr Gallery, Patrick Donley has been making art since the early 80’s in one form or another. His work can be found in collections from New York to Seattle, including Paul Allen, founder of the EMP Museum. Locally, his paintings and sculptures are located in numerous corporate and private collections.
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BA in Painting, Davidson College in Painting; MFA in Painting and Drawing, Northwestern University
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.